Padres Ownership Needs To Sign Upton To A Long Term Deal
By David Warren
There is no doubt Padres’ ownership made the right decision last season when they brought in GM A.J. Preller last August. But it was Preller’s trades for superstar players Matt Kemp and Justin Upton that has rejuvenated a fan base in San Diego who been longing to see Padres’ baseball relevant again. It is the fans who have endured the many years of the team’s inconsistencies where mediocre appeared to be the norm.
But with the right ownership, the organization can be one of the best in baseball as it was in the late 1990s when they brought in Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley who help lead the Padres’ to their first World Series since the 1984 season.
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Is this ownership taking this same approach? Absolutely! They are committed to change the image of the team for the 2015 season and beyond to compete alongside the Dodgers and Giants in the National League West.
However, ownership can a take EVEN larger step to win over fans by signing Upton to long-term contract. Upton and his agent Larry Reynolds have already expressed his openness to signing a deal with the Padres, and this is the perfect opportunity for Ron Fowler, Mike Dee, and Preller to make a larger splash by offering the 27-year old slugger that puts in place a proven superstar in the Padres lineup for years to come.
While trading for Upton is a risk because he is a free agent at the end of the season and will demand top dollars, the Padres can be a players. Upton’s been in the league for 8 years and has posted a career .274 batting average with 164 homers, but he’s hinted in interviews that he likes the National League West and a small media market. What better place to be than San Diego?
He has already shown that he can hit at Petco posting a career .291 batting average with 10 homers and 19 RBI over the course of his career. With both Kemp and outfielder Wil Myers slated to be in San Diego for the next several years, it is important for ownership to put together a cohesiveness and everyday lineup.
With a payroll of only $88 million in 2015, it will be difficult for the Padres’ to compete alongside those high market teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers. However, the results will pay dividend with more fans coming out to Petco and the team competing each year.
Padres fans have been longing for a new superstar and Justin Upton can definitely be that player. Ownership needs to open their pocket book and keep him San Diego many more years.